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如何将激情变成一项事业?

Hal Gregersen 2016年05月02日

尼尔•阿姆斯特朗的登月之旅,让理查德•布兰森对太空产生了浓厚的兴趣,并最终促使他创建了维珍银河公司。这种创业经历其实带有普遍性。创新往往源自一种激情或一个问题。不过,要培养对某件事的激情,说起来容易做起来难,你不妨尝试本文介绍的这三种方法。

如今的公司,需要面对更严重的不确定性和更高的复杂性。在这种变幻无常的形势下,员工为了保住饭碗不得不谨慎行事,这并不奇怪。(毕竟,谁会愿意“破坏现状”或者因为项目失败而受到指责呢?)这种反应性行为在逻辑上是可以理解的,但它也为创新带来了巨大的障碍。

创新源自一种激情或一个问题。激情意味着你有创新的动力,因为你对某件事非常关心。例如,理查德•布兰森在小时候观看了尼尔•阿姆斯特朗登月的画面,由此对太空产生了浓厚的兴趣。他意识到,他也想像阿姆斯特朗那样登上月球。数十年来,他一直在提问题,记录想法,与不同的人交流,努力将自己的激情变成现实。正是因为这样一个发自内心的长期承诺,才有那么多人追随他,共同创立维珍银河,这种激情由此转变为一门实实在在的企业。

但如今就业市场不景气,许多人更担心失去工作,而不是考虑通过积极的改变创造不同,在这样的形势下,要培养对某件事的激情,说起来容易做起来难。你不妨尝试以下这三种方法;

1、培养同理心

与直觉恰恰相反,克服恐惧的方法之一是跳出自身的需要。以自我为中心、只会纸上谈兵的激情,几乎不可能产生改变世界的见解。相反,你热爱的事情通常要专注于对他人产生积极的影响。瞬间激发积极性最快的方式之一,是与一种产品或服务的最终用户建立直接的、私人的联系,以更好地了解他们的需求。

2、寻找现有的问题

创新的另一个重要起点,是多关注现存的问题。以萨尔曼•可汗为例。2004年,当时还是一名对冲基金分析师的可汗,得知他在路易斯安那州的堂弟在数学方面遇到了困难。他利用雅虎的涂鸦记事本Doodle为堂弟进行辅导,并从中发现了解决这一问题的机遇。很快,其他家庭成员和朋友对类似课程的需求,激励他在2006年将教程搬到了YouTube。如今,作为非盈利组织可汗学院的创始人,可汗已经在YouTube上发布了超过2000部教程,每天来自全世界的浏览量接近10万次。可汗学院的宗旨是为全世界所有人提供免费的世界级教育。

好消息是任何人都会遇到问题——可能是职业或个人问题。只要你对这些问题足够关心,你就可以产生解决这些问题的激情。

不论是受到激情还是问题的激励,在开始创新之前,一定要确保自己愿意全身心投入到自己的想法当中。关键是要有将想法变成现实的毅力——虽然领导者通常要从初步计划中选出关键的“中心点”,将抽象的想法变成强大的现实。但需要注意的是,有的领导者最开始有非常了不起的想法,他们认为自己热衷于某一个改革方案,后来却发现由于错误的原因,偏离了最初的想法。例如,由于内部不断变化的政治动态,导致许多想法被很快终止。

3、列出清单

你能做些什么,才能找到自己的激情或确定你真正关心的问题?列出你目前面临的尚未找到答案的主要挑战。与你的最终用户或客户最为息息相关的挑战有哪些?解决哪些问题可以让你的公司在未来发生最大的改变?哪些问题可以引发积极的(消极的)情绪?确定最根本的问题,需要你做出一个具体的选择,即如何采用另一种方式利用你的时间。所以,一定要谨慎选择,确保你的付出是值得的。

确定了真正关注的事情,并愿意为之做些什么,你便来到了创新之旅的完美起点。只要你有足够的精力,保持同理心,你便可以走出舒适区,开始创造不同。(财富中文网)

本文作者哈尔•葛瑞格森为麻省理工学院领导力中心常务主任,并担任麻省理工学院斯隆管理学院领导力与创新高级讲师。他著有《创新者的基因:培养破坏性创新的五种技能》(The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators)一书。

译者:刘进龙/汪皓

审校:任文科

Organizations are dealing with higher levels of uncertainty and deeper complexity than we’ve ever seen before. Not surprisingly, this changeable landscape is causing employees to act cautiously in order to keep their jobs. (After all, who wants to “rock the boat” or be blamed for a failed project?) While this reactive behavior makes logical sense, it’s also creating a major roadblock on the journey to innovation.

Innovation begins with either a passion or a problem. Passion means you’re motivated to innovate because you care deeply about something. For example, thanks to watching Neil Armstrong land on the moon as a child, Richard Branson became very interested in space and realized that he wanted to go there like Armstrong did. For decades, he asked questions, kept notebooks of ideas, talked to different people and worked hard to figure out a way for his passion to become a reality. With a long-term commitment borne by the head and heart, it’s no wonder that the stars lined up for Branson to start Virgin Galactic, transforming his passionate idea into a tangible business.

However, becoming that passionate about something is easier said than done in a world where employment is so tenuous and many of us are more motivated by the fear of losing our jobs than by making a difference through positive change. Here are three ways to do this:

Empathize with others

Counter-intuitively, one way to overcome that fear is to look outside of your own needs. Passions that lead to world-changing insights are rarely self-centered, navel-gazing activities. Instead they often focus on trying to make a positive impact for someone else. One of the fastest ways to spark instant motivation is to set up direct, personal contact with end-users of a product or service to better understand their needs.

Search for existing problems

The other significant starting point for innovation is paying more careful attention to an existing problem. Consider Salman Khan. In 2004, Khan, then a hedge fund analyst, heard his cousin in Louisiana was struggling with mathematics. He saw an opportunity to solve this problem by tutoring his cousin over the Internet using Yahoo!’s Doodle notepad. Soon, the demand from other family members and friends for similar lessons motivated him to move his tutorials to YouTube in 2006. Today, as the founder of the Khan Academy, a not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing a free world-class education to anyone, anywhere, Khan has more than 2,000 tutorials on YouTube, which are viewed around the world nearly 100,000 times a day.

The good news is that everyone has problems – whether professional or personal. Either way, if we care enough about the problem, we may become passionate about solving it.

Whether you are motivated by passion or a problem, make sure you are willing to fully invest in the idea before you begin your innovation journey. Deep persistence to making an idea happen is key – even though leaders must often make critical “pivots” from initial plans to transform abstract ideas into powerful realities. Beware though that some leaders start out with great intentions, thinking they are passionate about a particular change initiative, but find themselves pulled away from the original idea into other directions – for all the wrong reasons. For example, some ideas get shut down fast by the ever spinning wheels of internal political dynamics.

Make a list

What can you do to find your passion or identify a problem that you care deeply about? Try making a list of the major challenges you currently face for which you don’t have an answer. Which of these is most deeply connected to your end users or clients? Which ones could make the biggest difference for the future of your company? Which ones spark any kind of emotion, either positive or negative? Deciding that a problem matters at a fundamental level requires a concrete choice about how you will use your time differently. So choose well to make sure it’s worth it.

When you uncover something that you care enough about to do something about it, then you’re at the perfect starting point for a powerful innovation journey. Once you get the energy and empathy juices flowing, you can get out of your comfort zone and start to make a difference.

Hal Gregersen is executive director of the MIT Leadership Center and a senior lecturer in leadership and innovation at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is the author ofThe Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators.

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